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U 413

The veteran U 413 entered the Bristol Channel during her eighth patrol.
U 413
Type VII C
Laid down 25 April 1941 Danziger Werft, Danzig
Commissioned 3 June 1942 Oblt. Gustav Poel (Knights Cross)
Commanders 06.42 - 04.44
04.44 - 08.44
Kptlt. Gustav Poel
Oblt. Dietrich Sachse

Career

June 1942 - October 1942 8 U-Flottille (Danzig) training
November 1942 - August 1944 1 U-Flottille (Brest)

Patrol 1 22 October 1942 Left Kiel and arrived at Marviken on 24 October 1942.

Patrol 2 28 October 1942. Left Marviken for the North Atlantic. U 413 was outward-bound when news of the Allied landings in North Africa was received on the 8th. All boats with sufficient fuel were ordered to proceed at high speed towards Gibraltar. En route, U 413 encountered convoy MKF 1 west of Lisbon. She torpedoed and sank the MV Warwick Castle (Br. 20107t) in the morning of the 14th. The troop transport was returning to the United Kingdom. 60 of her crew of 295 were lost and 54 of the 133 service personnel aboard also drowned. U 413 joined Westwall group, stationed off Gibraltar. On the 19th she missed southbound convoy KRS 3 and later that day she was attacked and badly damaged by a Hudson of 608 Squadron. She reached her new base at Brest on 25 November 1942.

Patrol 3 27 December 1942. Left for the North Atlantic. U 413 joined Jaguar group, which arrived in its operational area NE of Newfoundland on 12 January 1943 and then waited for an HX convoy. HX 233 probably passed the western end of the Jaguar patrol line on the 22nd. On this day U 413 sighted SC 117 SSW of Cape Farewell and in the late evening she sank a straggler, the SS Mount Mycale (Gr. 3556t). Radio difficulties prevented the deployment of the other Jaguar boats in time to catch the convoy. A search for it by the group was unsuccessful. On or about 1 February 1943, U 413 was refuelled NE of Newfoundland for further operations, possibly by another boat. On the evening of the 5th U 413 sank a straggler, the SS West Portal (Am. 5376t).  U 413 returned to Brest on 17 February 1943.

Patrol 4 29 March 1943. Left for the North Atlantic. U 413 joined Meise group east of Newfoundland.  U 413 returned to Brest on 13 June 1943.

Patrol 5 4 September 1943. Left for Atlantic operations. U 413 developed a mechanical defect and returned to base. She reached Brest on 18 September 1943.

Patrol 6 27 September 1943. Left Brest and returned on 28 September 1943.

Patrol 7 2 October 1943. Left for the North Atlantic. U 413 joined Schlieffen group south west of Iceland.  She returned to Brest on 21 November 1943.

Patrol 8 26 January 1944. Left for the North Atlantic. U 413 operated initially south west of Ireland. In the early morning of 11 February, she encountered convoy KMS 41/OS 67 and made several unsuccessful attacks against destroyers of the escort, hearing only end of run detonations. She escaped the hunt that followed, using ‘Aphrodite’ balloons and anti-radar foil. Between 17 and 21 February, U 413 was patrolling off the north coast of Cornwall when she was sighted and reported by a fishing vessel on the 20th. Destroyers arrived and began to hunt for the boat. U 413 was able to torpedo and sink the destroyer HMS Warwick WSW of Trevose Head before slipping away. In March she was operating south and south west of Ireland. In the late evening of the 21st U 413 missed a destroyer and a ship in a convoy that she attacked south west of Ireland. The boat returned to Brest on 27 March 1944.

Patrol 9 6 June 1944. Left Brest, as part of Landwirt group. U 413 and seven other non-schnorkel boats were ordered to the area between The Lizard and Hartland Point to operate against Allied invasion supply shipping heading for the English Channel. For an early arrival the boats sailed late in the evening and were ordered to proceed on the surface at high speed. They all came under aircraft attack almost immediately after dropping their escorts off Brest. With four boats reporting that they were damaged and returning it was decided that from dawn on the 7th the remaining five boats, which included U 413, should proceed to their operational area submerged in daylight. In the early hours of the 8th U 413 fought an action with a Halifax of 502 Squadron. After an exchange of fire the aircraft returned to base with its port engine knocked out and U 413 headed home, damaged. She reached Brest on 9 June 1944.

Patrol 10 2 August 1944. Left for the English Channel. Now hurriedly schnorkel-equipped, U 413 moved towards the Allied invasion area at the eastern end of the Channel. In the evening of the 19th she came up with convoy ETC 72 south east of the Isle of Wight and torpedoed and sank the SS Saint Enogat (Br. 2360t). The boat was located immediately afterwards but escaped. She was followed by the destroyer HMS Forester, joined next morning by the destroyer HMS Vidette and the destroyer escort HMS Wensleydale. Between them they located, attacked and destroyed U 413 on the 20th south east of Brighton. The commander and 45 members of the crew were lost. The sole survivor was the Chief Engineer, who had gone to the forward section of the boat to investigate damage. He got out through the forward escape hatch and floated 90 feet to the surface.